An integrated approach toward understanding our planet
Main Sustainable Development Goals for the Department of Earth Sciences.

In studying the system Earth and other planets, the Earth Sciences contribute to answers on social and economic questions that concern: 

  • the natural means of existence (water, energy, raw materials),
  • the terrestrial environment (including remediation of pollutions),
  • natural hazards and disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods),
  • and the use of terrestrial space (specifically near surface and underground space).

Through our work, we contribute in particular to 4 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations in 2015.

The Earth Sciences are a multidisciplinary science in which the principles and methods of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, mathematics, and computational sciences are integrated. We specifically develop new scientific hypotheses, methods of data analyses, and experimental and observational techniques that enable us to reconstruct and predict the interactive behaviour of the solid Earth, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere, on scales ranging from seconds to billions of years, and from nanometers to the entire globe. We honour James Hutton’s early insight that "from what has actually been, we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen thereafter".

Our research focus is on 4 major aspects of the natural Earth:


Vlag faculteiten
6 September 2019
Seven projects received a Partnership Collaboration Award. These awards are an initiative of the University of Sydney and Utrecht University.
Boorplatform op meer van Ohrid
4 September 2019
Through a deep drilling campaign at Lake Ohrid an international team including Utrecht University has reconstructed 1.4 million years of climate in detail.
logo van European Research Council
3 September 2019
6 in total at Utrecht University
3 September 2019
Utrecht University and University of Hawai’i researchers have extended the astronomical time scale by 8 million years. Their results were published in Science.




E.g., 09/15/2019
20 September 2019 12:45 - 13:30
Gabriella Weiss investigated the salinity of former oceans. In her dissertation she takes a new step in improving the research method.
27 September 2019 16:00 - 17:00
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk
4 October 2019 11:45 - 18:30
The KNGMG's 2019 Staring lecture is given by Prof. Dr Roderik van de Wal.